The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has vowed to punish erring boat operators who abuse safety measures put in place to guide their operations.

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The MD, who gave the warning in a press statement signed by Jibril Dardau, Acting General Manager (Corporate Affairs) of the Authority and made available to newsmen said non-adherence to rules and regulations would be punished.

According to the MD, it has become necessary to adhere to strict safety measures in view of the recent avoidable boat mishaps in Lagos and Benue States which claimed the lives of innocent Nigerians.

“The Authority is hereby warning all boat operators in the country to adhere strictly to inland waterways transportation safety guidelines.

“The Authority is sad with the recent (avoidable) boat mishaps in Lagos and Benue States that claimed so many lives as a result of flagrant violation of Inland Waterways Transportation Safety guidelines”, he said.

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The Managing Director commiserated with the families, people and governments of the affected states and warned boat operators to adhere strictly to NIWA safety guidelines or be sanctioned.

Moghalu, however, disclosed that his reform agenda for the inland waterways transportation system in the country is to eradicate boat accidents across the waterways in the country.